Car Crashes Caused by Distracted Drivers
Car Crash Damages Distracted Driving Can Cause
Distracted driving means driving while not completely focused on the crucial task of driving safely. Distracted driving encompasses seemingly harmless behaviors. But in the context of driving, the following behaviors are extremely dangerous:
- Talking or texting on your phone.
- Eating or drinking.
- Engaging in conversation with a passenger in your vehicle.
- Playing around with the stereo or navigation system.
It may seem hard to believe, but the potential for injuries, death, property damage, and skyrocketing medical costs is multiplied exponentially by doing something as harmless as responding to a simple text from a close friend.
Accidents and Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed as recently as 2016 because of a car accident caused by distracted drivers. This is a shocking statistic, all the more tragic because those deaths were preventable had the drivers handled their driving with duty of care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that, on average, 9 people are killed every day in the United States because of a distracted driver. More than 1,000 people are injured yearly in car accidents involving a distracted driver.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
There are three primary types of distracted driving:
- Visual – not looking at the road or the vehicles around you.
- Manual – not keeping your hands on the wheel.
- Cognitive – not keeping your focus on the task of safe driving.
You cannot drive safely unless you’re completely focused on the task of driving. An example that proves this point is texting while driving, which is something that most drivers are guilty of doing.
On average, it takes about five seconds to send or read a text. That’s five seconds during which your eyes are not focused on the road. If you’re driving on the freeway at the very reasonable speed of 55 mph, that’s comparable to closing your eyes while driving across the entire length of a football field.
Using your cell phone while driving in the state of California is both dangerous and illegal. You cannot drive while holding a cell phone in your hand for any reason. You can only use your phone in a hands-free manner. Under no circumstances can you ever hold a phone in your hand while driving. It’s worth mentioning that all drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone for any reason.
COMMON EXAMPLES OF DISTRACTED DRIVING:
- Smoking Related Activity – Smoking while driving is particularly risky as it means that for a few seconds both hands are no longer on the wheel. Some people are seasoned pros, but lighting a cigarette still takes away time and attention away from focused driving. This distraction will reduce the time you have to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions or emergencies.
- Eating or Drinking – Eating in the car can be tempting, but reaching into that container to grab some fries means your attention is distracted from the road for a few seconds or more.
- Other Occupants in the Vehicle – One of the most common instances of distracted driving is talking with or looking at the other passengers in your car. Engaging in a particularly emotional or difficult conversation can only increase your level of distraction. There might be a crying child or an upset puppy in the backseat, but your focus must be on the road in front of you at all times.
- Looking at Something Outside the Car – We humans are notorious for our endless curiosity and short attention spans. Anytime we see something interesting by the side of the road we may feel curious enough to want to take a closer look. This is known as rubbernecking. Whether you’re taking your eyes off the road to stare at the aftermath of a car accident or to catch the attention of someone you think you may know, doing so will create an unnecessary distraction to your safe driving.
- Daydreaming – If you are thinking about what you’re going to eat for dinner or seeing your children after coming home from a long day of work, you’re distracting yourself from focusing on the road. Losing your concentration while driving on the road is dangerous. You will not be able to react in a timely manner if sudden changes in road conditions appear ahead of you.
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of another driver’s distracted driving, you have the right to hold that driver responsible. An attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (888) 888-9285 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.
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